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Clark's last-second play leaves Mavs short again

DALLAS (AP) -- The Sacramento Kings not only keep beating the
Dallas Mavericks, they keep finding new ways to make it hurt.

First it was a humbling 29-point win, followed by a one-pointer
while playing without Chris Webber or super sub Bobby Jackson.

They topped themselves Thursday night as Keon Clark caught an
airball and hit an 8-foot jumper with 0.4 seconds left for a
126-124 overtime victory in a game the Kings hadn't led since 7:53
remained in regulation.

Clark also had the game-winning shot in the previous meeting.
Three weeks ago in Dallas, he dunked a missed 3-pointer with 16.5
seconds left.

"It was a sense of deja vu for me,'' Clark said. "That was a
tough shot with the game on the line, but that's what I get paid to
do.''

The Mavericks had only themselves to blame as they failed to
protect a 118-111 lead with 1:57 left in the fourth quarter. Dallas
didn't score again, then couldn't make a basket in overtime; all
six of its points came on free throws.

The Mavs missed two buzzer-beaters that could've won it: A
12-footer by Steve Nash in regulation and a wild 3-pointer by
Michael Finley in overtime.

"It's frustrating the way it happened, with bank shots and
airballs,'' Nash said. "What are you going to do? This was crazy.
Our confidence is still good against this team. They were just very
lucky.''

Although Dallas still has the league's best record at 44-14, the
Mavericks are 2-5 against Sacramento, San Antonio and the Los
Angeles Lakers. They've lost six straight to the Kings counting
three in a row in last season's playoffs.

"We've got to get over the hump against this team,'' Dallas'
Raef LaFrentz said. "When it comes down to it, they're just a
little bit better.''

Dirk Nowitzki had 36 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Mavs,
who went to overtime for the second time in three games after none
in the first 55. Finley had 31 points, 21 in the first half.

Peja Stojakovic had 36 points to lead Sacramento, which won its
fifth straight and seventh in eight games. Clark had 12 points and
11 rebounds.

The Kings are 5-3 against the Mavericks, Spurs and Lakers; they
play at San Antonio on Saturday night.

"We always play good against them,'' Stojakovic said.
"Probably during the course of the playoffs, we will meet them. It
could be a completely different story. But it's always good to beat
them.''

The Kings erased their 118-11 deficit -- the game's biggest
margin since the Mavericks led by nine midway through the third --
on layups by Vlade Divac and Doug Christie, followed by a running,
banked-in 3-pointer by Jackson with 12.5 seconds to go.

"I definitely knew I was going to shoot it as soon as I got
it,'' Jackson said. "It was the right bank at the right time.''

The Mavericks led three times in overtime, but never by more
than two. Clark had a block on Nowitzki with a little over a minute
left, and rebounded a miss by Nowitzki with 16 seconds left.

"We just kept being aggressive,'' Jackson said. "That's when
we're at our best.''

The game was intense for the entire second half and overtime,
with the lead changing often. Both teams used only three reserves.

The Kings held on despite Chris Webber fouling out with 7:17
left in regulation. Divac fouled out in overtime.

Dallas went to the line only four times the first three
quarters, then took 22 attempts in the fourth quarter and overtime.
The Mavs made 19.

Stojakovic was 14-of-14 from the line, including a pair in
overtime. Divac and Christie also had overtime baskets.

Webber, who had a triple-double in Sacramento's 29-point win the
first time they met this season and was hurt for the second
meeting, had 16 points, 10 rebounds and six assists. Divac had 12
points, six assists and five rebounds.

Jackson had 17 points, going 5-of-8 on 3-pointers, with seven
rebounds. Bibby had 17 points and six assists, and Christie had 10
points, 10 rebounds and six assists.

The Kings outrebounded Dallas 60-40, including 21-10 the
offensive end. Clark had seven of them.

Nash had 14 points and 10 assists, and Nick Van Exel had 15
points and nine assists. Walt Williams had 12 points, all on
3-pointers.

The Mavericks were without one of their best interior defenders,
forward Eduardo Najera, who was suspended one game for bumping an
official.

Sacramento started hot, making eight of its first nine shots,
with Webber tipping in the only miss. The Kings scored on their
first six possessions; Dallas' first pseudo defensive stand came
when Bibby missed a pair of free throws. Sacramento scored on its
next two possessions, too.

The Kings were having their way inside, then the Mavs made it a
game by going to the hoop themselves. A streak of six straight
layups or dunks in the middle of the second quarter made it a game
again, with an eye-popping fullcourt dash by Nash giving Dallas a
61-60 halftime lead.

Game notes
Dallas coach Don Nelson got a technical in the second
quarter when Nowitzki was called for a loose ball foul. It came
soon after Shawn Bradley was called for three fouls in a 1:43 span.
... A bobblehead of Mavs owner Mark Cuban will be given out before
Saturday night's game against the Memphis Grizzlies.

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